According to industry figures, an additional 10,000 construction workers are needed every year until 2020.
The Norwegian building and construction industry is responsible for the construction and maintenance of houses and commercial buildings, and the development of roads, airports and facilities related to defence, energy, oil and gas, and transport.
The sector is extremely sensitive to market pressures and fluctuations, and is often the industry that first feels the signs of economic change.
This means that the industry is one of the biggest suppliers of temporary employment.
Many public sector projects help to drive the industry, and unlike in many other countries, the Norwegian sector consists of many small companies.
Around 200,000 people work in the industry in a total of 50,000 companies, many of which are single-person businesses, who hop from project to project with their specialism.
Qualified labour in manual trades such as building and construction can be hard to find among Norway's small population.
This causes Norwegian companies in the industry to turn to foreigners for the required skills.
As it’s easy for Norwegian companies to hire citizens of EU/EEA countries, anyone with skills and experience will stand a good chance of finding temporary project work to get started in the industry. Health and safety qualifications will improve your odds.
Skills needed in the industry
Skills required by the building and construction industry include:
- Iron fixers
- Concrete/foundation workers
- Machine & crane operators
In addition, management positions, project managers, health and safety experts, and engineers of all disciplines are highly sought after.
Because of the project-based nature of construction, people tend to be employed through their own businesses or via a staffing company.
Construction worker salaries in Norway
Full-time salaried employees can expect to earn at least 480,000kr annually. Experienced contractors with their own business can earn substantially more.
However, as previously stated, most people will be hired via third-party agencies or through their own companies, for which pay tends to be hourly.
Typical hourly rates for casual/temporary workers are as follows:
- Unskilled without trade experience: 168kr
- Unskilled workers with some experience: 176kr
- Skilled workers: 187kr
- Workers under 18 years: 113kr
You can read more about minimum wages in Norway here.
For more information:
- Jobs Vacancies: Search for English-speaking jobs in Norway
- EBA: Norwegian Contractors Association
- BNL: The Federation of Norwegian Construction Industries
- Bygg.no: Construction industry magazine